Beginner guide to travel photography and where to get the equipment
Everybody loves traveling, right? And everybody loves showing nice travel pics to friends, family or on Instagram. But are you able to take nice pics of your travels? Or are they just like any other photo you take with your phone? Don’t worry, we are not going to tell you to just get a super expensive camera (did you know you can rent them at low cost?) and that’s going to make you a professional travel photographer. No, we will give you some hands-on advice and show you where to rent all the photo equipment you need at very low cost.
6 tips for taking better travel photos
1. Get up early and stay out late
Probably the most important ingredient for a good photo is always the lighting. There are two times everyday that provide perfect natural light, early in the morning and in the evening just before sunset (the “golden hour”). Another benefit of getting up and taking photos early in the morning is that the popular photo locations are less busy this early, other photographers are still sleeping.
2. Look for photo locations before your trip
Talking to friends who have been on the same trip before or visited the same locations before is the best source for finding the best photo locations. But by scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest, you will find a variety of locations as well, even the ones your friends don’t know about.
Find some good locations and make a “shot list” with all your locations. Do some research on them like how to get there and when they have the best natural light.
3. Practice patience
Taking a perfect photo is very time intensive. You have to get a feeling for the location and the situation. Are the clouds in a good spot? Are there cars or people passing by in the background? How is the light? What about shadows?
All these and more factors play into how your photo is going to turn out. And they all have to be perfect in the same moment for the perfect photo.
So take a couple of tries and wait in between shots. The situation (and the look of your photo) will change every moment but sometimes it may take some time until all the factors are aligned and everything is perfect.
4. Bring a camera everywhere
You can prepare and be patient as much as you want, sometimes the best photo is a spontaneous one. You might just walk around the city or hike a trail and the perfect photo motive appears. Might be an old building or a nice view or just an interesting situation. What a pity if you didn’t have a camera at your hand right at this moment to capture it.
5. Get lost and keep your eyes open
As mentioned before, sometimes the best photo opportunities come out of nothing. So always bring a camera. But also keep your eyes open wherever you go. And maybe leave the popular tourist locations. In old towns sometimes the little side streets behind the popular church or castle are good photo locations as well. So leave your track, get lost on purpose but always keep your eyes open, you never know when a good photo opportunity comes up.
6. Don’t waste too much money on equipment
Honestly, the best improvement you can make to your travel photos is improving your photo skills with the tips we gave you so far. A better camera and photo gear actually won’t make that much of a difference (at least not a difference that’s worth investing hundreds or thousands of $ into). We suggest you, if you want to use better gear to get the most out of your improved photography skills, to rent the cameras and photo gear instead of buying them. Click here to see where to rent cameras and photo gear at low cost.
Read more about renting cameras and photography equipment in our quick guide to renting cameras online and find all answers to your questions about renting photography equipment in this FAQ.